If you and your family would like to get out on the open seas and enjoy being the masters of your own destiny, when it comes to vacations and trips to exotic islands, at least, then buying a boat may be on your agenda.
If that is the are, you are probably thinking about buying a used boat to save money and maximize the amount you have available for the actual vacations you will be taking in your new vessel.
If that is the case, there are some of my top tips for buying a used boat:
- Check the registration and title
If you want to ensure that the boat you are buying is the boat you think it is, and that the person selling you it is the legal wonder, you absolutely must see the registration and title. You will also need to check that the hull identification number matches the number on the boat. This is the most basic thing you need to do.
- Inspect the hull very carefully
If there are holes, gouges, or areas of rot in the hull, then it is probably a good idea to look elsewhere because, if the hulk is not totally structurally sound, then it could put your life in da ger at sea. Obviously, many issues can be fixed, but if you are looking to save money, structural issues are best avoided.
- Ensure the engine is in good shape too
The engine is the most expensive component of most boats. If it is corroded, takes more than a few seconds to get started, splutters, or otherwise causes you concern, then you will need to think very carefully before buying. Yes, companies like Volvo Penta are a great source for replacements that will last the test of time, but again, this will depend on your budget and how much work you are willing to do.
- Don’t forget the deck
Of course, you should also inspect the deck thoroughly too. A sound deck will be solid, and not squishy to move around on. It will be free from any major cracks and holes and it will not have a problem with mold or mildew. If it does have any of these issues, think very carefully before buying.
- Beware of batteries
Batteries on most boats will only last for around five years so it is not a huge issue to have to replace one when buying a boat. That being said, if the battery is very corroded, it could be a sign of bigger problems, so you would do well to tread carefully.
Bring an expert with you
All of that being said, the absolute best way to ensure that you don’t buy a dud boat is to bring along someone who is experienced with boats to check the vessel over with you.
Buying a used boat is something you should take your time over and consider very carefully, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, so take your time and make sure you get it right!